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When it’s all too obvious you’re a tourist

We’ve all seen that person wearing a green leprechaun hat in the
middle of July, who orders half a pint of Guinness and then pays a 20% tip.
This, in my own parlance, is Glaringly Obviously A Tourist, or more simply;
GOAT. Now, if there’s David, there’s Goliath and so, just as there are GOATs,
the corresponding antonym must too exist; SPI, someone who is Seemingly
Plausibly Integrated. Of course, depending on where you are, it may or may not
be advantageous to be GOAT or SPI. This will all depend upon the associated
probability of getting directions, overcharged, stabbed, etc. in that
particular region. In many instances, unfortunately, you may be GOAT, SPI or both
within the same country and find that this is largely outside of your control.
However, there are some little tips and tricks that can slightly improve your
control of the situation. Please choose below your appropriate stereotype or
combination of the two.

International best practice if GOAT:
  1. Speak a foreign language – Speaking a different or non-existent
    language is the fast track to being GOAT. In fact, by speaking a sufficient
    amount of gobbledegook, you can even be GOAT at home. Some people take this
    piece of advice to the extreme and begin to hum or make strange noises. This
    doesn’t work. People think you are weird.
  2. Become GOAT family – If there were no kids, there’d be no
    GOATs. Having kids that pester you for helium balloons, touristy gimmicks that
    fly, popcorn and/or ice-cream is invaluable when it comes to securing your GOAT
    status. Importantly, whatever you give your kids must be something that no
    regional SPI could plausible give to theirs. For example, feeding your kids
    milk with their dinner in France will earn bonus GOAT points. In Ireland you should
    avoid this at all costs, unless you’d like your kids to be SPIs.
  3. Wear unconventional clothes – Ski-goggles in Ireland, a sombrero
    in Iraq or a woolly jumper in Greece are all prime examples of GOAT-attire.
    Remember that you can always augment any costume with map, a camera and a
    general look of confusion.
  4. Hang around museums – If your goal is to be extremely GOAT,
    this is the place to hang out… preferably with one or more suitcases. Churches
    or any buildings more than 20 years old are also suitable alternatives.
International best practice if SPI:
  1. Employ brevity – If your local lingo isn’t up do scratch, avoid
    at all costs using phrases with more than one word. Learn to pronounce one key
    word immaculately, such as “good”, and learn to say it with the most
    condescending and imposing tone possible. A single syllable is rarely enough to
    reveal you’re GOAT. Note: this is not the moment to pull out the phrase “Don’t
    shoot, I’m a pencil. (see previous blog)”
  2. Grow a beard – Clearly this SPI strategy has its gender
    limitations. However, if your identity is uncovered, you can always shave it
    off and get a second chance. Don’t do anything too style specific, i.e. none of
    that handlebar, crossbar or crowbar kind of thing. Every society has got the
    odd person with a thick beard that implies “This guy could really be from
    anywhere!” Your beard should play on that confusion.
  3. Go shopping for school uniforms – No GOAT would ever go
    shopping for a school uniform, especially a uniform with an embroidered crest
    of a local school. Please exercise some restraint when using this tip, i.e.
    don’t shop for uniforms on a weekly basis. Also, this advice doesn’t work in
    countries that don’t require school uniforms.
  4. Give directions – If you’re the kind of tourist that always
    asks for directions but have recently had SPI ambitions, it’s time to stall the
    ball, reverse the hearse and begin to give directions to other people. Caveat:
    Don’t give directions to people if they don’t ask… this just doesn’t work.
    Bonus insight: You’re not required to give accurate directions, although they
    must remain somewhat plausible.
This is a rather simplified analysis and does
have its limitations. For example, if it is your desire to be SPI-GOAT, i.e.
you want to pretend that you are pretending to be GOAT… but we won’t get into that just yet…

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